Since 1961, Roy Jorgensen Associates (Jorgensen) has provided maintenance consultant services, facility maintenance operations, and roadway maintenance services throughout the United States. One of the roadway programs Jorgensen oversees is the Road Ranger Service Patrol Fleet. The Road Ranger fleet provides incident management response services and limited no-cost highway assistance to motorists to improve highway safety for emergency responders and the motoring public. In 2015, Jorgensen collaborated with Alliance AutoGas (AAG) to begin a pilot propane autogas program. Autogas, the name for propane when used as a vehicle fuel, has many benefits including decreased fuel cost per gallon, greater vehicle uptime, and reduced harmful emissions.
“After learning about the work Jorgensen was doing with the Road Ranger fleet and how much mileage their fleet puts on throughout a year, I knew AAG could offer a great autogas program that would improve their operation,” says Ed Hoffman, president of Blossman Services, the autogas system distribution partner of AAG. The autogas vehicles used by the Road Ranger fleet operate throughout Florida’s southeastern coast. There are approximately 40 autogas vehicles in the Road Ranger fleet, and since beginning their program in 2015, the fleet recently celebrated refueling with their one millionth gallon of autogas this past July.
“Our autogas program has been an eye-opener on what alternative fuel can do for fleets,” says Ernie Molina, Vice President for Roy Jorgensen Associates. “The cost saving benefit compared to diesel or gasoline was evident, however, the other benefits make a big difference for the Road Ranger fleet.” One of those benefits include AAG providing the infrastructure for a personal refueling center. “The maintenance vehicles have to refuel often, as they’re providing service 24/7 every day of the year. Having access to our own refueling station for whenever we need it is a game changer,” says Molina.
From extreme temperatures to hurricane season, the Florida climate requires durable transportation. The majority of the vehicles in the Road Ranger Patrol Fleet travel over 100,000 miles per year. “One aspect that we like about our autogas vehicles and working with AAG is how reliable the systems are. We can count on our autogas vehicles no matter what the weather conditions are, and we do not have to worry about fuel prices inflating like gasoline or diesel. We also save on things such as DEF fluid.”
Another key aspect Jorgensen was interested in when they started the autogas pilot program was making a difference environmentally. Propane-converted vehicles emit 25 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than vehicles running on gasoline and 80 percent fewer smog-producing hydrocarbon emissions than vehicles running on diesel. For the Road Ranger fleet, using over a million gallons of autogas is the equivalent to planting 280,761 trees that grow for ten years according to EPA calculations.
When asked about surpassing one million gallons of autogas, Molina says “Knowing the environmental difference Jorgensen and the Road Ranger fleet has made by using a million gallons of autogas is quite remarkable. Jorgensen continues to be impressed by the Road Ranger autogas program and we will be mindful of what autogas can provide moving forward.” Hoffman of Blossman Services adds “Jorgensen has been a great partner to work with. The Road Ranger fleet is a great example of autogas shinning in vehicles putting on high mileage, often in extreme weather conditions, and working around the clock.”